NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Monday, February 18th (All times eastern)
Phoenix Coyotes (30-25-4) at Los Angeles Kings (25-33-3), 10:30 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Phoenix Coyotes shoot for their sixth win against the Los Angeles Kings this season when the two clubs wrap a home-and-home set tonight at the Staples Center.
The Coyotes posted a 4-3 home victory over the Kings on Saturday and have outscored Los Angeles, 17-7, in five wins against them this year. Phoenix has scored four goals in each of the last four wins.
The Coyotes have won eight of their last 10 versus the Kings, including two straight and three of the last four matchups held in the City of Angels.
Radim Vrbata's power-play goal in the third period lifted Phoenix on Saturday. Ed Jovanovski had a goal and two assists and Ilja Bryzgalov made 22 saves for the Coyotes, who have won two straight after a four-game losing streak.
Joel Perrault and Daniel Winnik also scored in the win, which was the 99th of Wayne Gretzky's career as a head coach.
Vrbata leads Phoenix with a career-high 26 goals this season and has scored in two straight games. Shane Doan added a pair of assists to give him a goal and four helpers over his last two games. Doan is tops on Phoenix with 40 assists and 59 points this year.
Phoenix has 30 wins in 59 games this year, the quickest the club has hit that mark since doing so in 55 games during the 1999-2000 season. Phoenix is one win shy of matching their season total from last year, hence it is no surprise the club is just two points out of a playoff spot right now.
The Coyotes are 17-12-2 on the road this year and begin a three-game homestand on Tuesday.
The Kings, meanwhile, begin a three-game homestand of their own tonight and are 13-16-1 as the host this season. The club is still last in the NHL with 53 points.
Dustin Brown, Raitis Ivanans and Alexander Frolov each lit the lamp in Saturday's loss for the Kings, who had won four of six coming into the contest.
Brown has a pair of goals and two helpers in his last four games, while Frolov has posted two goals and three assists in his last three outings.
Dan Cloutier started in net for Los Angeles and stopped 18-of-21 shots, but was pulled after two periods due to flu-like symptoms. Jason LaBarbera stopped 15-of-16 attempts in the loss.
Cloutier is questionable for tonight, as is leading scorer Anze Kopitar due to flu-like symptoms. Kopitar has 55 points (25 goals, 30 assists) on the season.
02/18 10:43:55 ET